How to Stretch for Surfing

Hey there fellow wave rider! If you want to improve your surfing skills, you need to make sure you’re taking care of your body. This means stretching before, during and after each surf session. Stretching ensures that you’re more flexible and less prone to injury, allowing you to spend more time in the water, catching waves like a pro. In this post, we’re going to show you how to stretch for surfing, so you can hit the beach with confidence and surf like a

How to Stretch for Surfing

Stretching before and after surfing is essential for improving performance, preventing injuries and feeling good both on and off your board. Before a surf session, make sure you warm up with dynamic stretching. This could include leg swings, arm circles, and high knees to get your heart rate up and your muscles ready to go. After your session, focus on static stretching to help your muscles recover and release any tension. This can include a standing quad stretch or a downward dog pose. Remember to drink plenty of water and listen to your body- if something doesn’t feel good, take a break or modify the stretch to suit your needs.

How to Stretch for Surfing

Surfing is one of the most exhilarating sports in the world, but it can also be one of the most physically demanding. The constant paddling and repetitive motions can lead to muscle strain, tightness, and even injuries. That’s why it’s crucial to stretch before and after your surf sessions. In this post, we’ll provide you with some tried and tested stretches that will keep your body in top condition to catch those waves like a pro.

The Importance of Stretching for Surfing

Stretching helps to promote mobility, flexibility, and blood flow to the muscles. By doing so, you’ll be less prone to injuries, and you’ll be able to improve your overall surfing performance. With regular stretching, you’ll also feel less sore and stiff after each surf session, allowing you to get back out into the water more quickly.

For the most part, surfing involves using the muscles in your arms, shoulders, core, and legs. Therefore, it’s essential to stretch each of these muscle groups before and after each surf session. The best way to do this is to divide your stretching routine into two parts: dynamic stretching and static stretching.

Dynamic Stretching

Dynamic stretching is a type of stretching that involves moving your limbs and joints through a full range of motion. Dynamic stretches are usually done before a workout or surf session as they help increase blood flow and prepare your muscles for exercise. Some excellent dynamic stretches for surfers include:

Leg Swings

Leg swings, also known as side-to-side swings or front-to-back swings, are a great way to stretch your hip joints, glutes, and quadriceps. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and swing one leg out to the side, keeping your knee straight. Swing your leg back towards the center of your body, and then swing it forward, bending your knee as you bring your leg up towards your chest. Repeat for 10-20 reps and then switch sides.

Arm Circles

Arm circles are an excellent way to warm up your shoulder joints and increase blood flow to your arms. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and extend your arms out to the sides. Make small circles forwards and backwards with your arms, gradually increasing the size of the circles. After several reps, switch directions and repeat.

High Knees

High knees are a great way to warm up your leg muscles and improve your coordination. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and then lift one knee up towards your chest. Lower your foot back down to the ground and repeat with the other leg. Continue alternating legs, gradually increasing the speed and height of your knee lifts.

Static Stretching

Static stretching is a type of stretching that involves holding a stretch for 20-30 seconds. Static stretching is usually done after a workout or surf session as it helps to lengthen and relax your muscles. Some excellent static stretches for surfers include:

Standing Quad Stretch

The standing quad stretch is an excellent way to stretch your quadriceps muscles, which are often used when paddling on your surfboard. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and then lift one foot up behind you, bending your knee. Hold your ankle with your hand and gently pull your foot towards your buttocks. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then repeat on the other side.

Downward Dog Pose

The downward dog pose is a yoga pose that is great for stretching your hamstrings, calves, and shoulders. Start on all fours, with your hands and knees shoulder-width apart. Lift your knees off the ground and straighten your legs, pushing your hips towards the ceiling. Press your hands into the ground and push your chest towards your thighs. Hold for 20-30 seconds and then lower your knees back down to the ground.

Child’s Pose

The child’s pose is another yoga pose that is excellent for stretching your lower back and hips. Start on all fours, with your hands and knees shoulder-width apart. Lower your hips back towards your heels and stretch your arms out in front of you. Rest your forehead on the ground and hold for 20-30 seconds.

Stretching Tips

Here are some additional tips that will help you get the most out of your stretching routine:

  • Make sure to breathe deeply and slowly throughout your stretches. This will help you relax and reduce any tension you may be holding in your muscles.
  • Only stretch to the point where you feel a comfortable stretch. Never push past the point of discomfort, as this could lead to injury.
  • Remember to hydrate before and after your surf session. Staying hydrated will help you stay flexible and less prone to muscle strain.
  • If you’re in need of new surf gear or equipment, consider checking out used surfboards for sale. You can often find high-quality surfboards at a fraction of the cost of a new one, which is especially helpful if you’re just starting out and want to save some money.

In Conclusion

Stretching is a critical part of any surfer’s routine. By warming up with dynamic stretching and cooling down with static stretching, you’ll be able to improve your flexibility, enhance your performance, and prevent injuries. Remember to listen to your body, drink plenty of water, and have fun out there on the waves!

Additional Tips for Stretching Before Surfing

In addition to the dynamic and static stretches, there are other things you can do to improve your stretches before surfing, such as foam rolling, self-myofascial release, and mobility exercises. Foam rolling is a great way to break down knots or trigger points in your muscles, which can help them relax and aid in recovery. Self-myofascial release involves using a ball or foam roller to apply pressure to specific areas on your body, which can help alleviate tension and stiffness. Mobility exercises, such as lunges and squats, can help improve your range of motion and prepare your body for the movements you’ll be doing in the water.

When to Stretch

Stretching should be done both before and after a surf session. Dynamic stretching is best done before surfing as it helps to warm up your muscles and prepare your body for activity. Static stretching is ideal after surfing as it helps to cool down and lengthen your muscles.

Listen to Your Body

It is important to listen to your body and be aware of any discomfort during your stretches. Stretching should not be painful, and if you experience any pain or discomfort, you should stop immediately. If you have an injury or chronic issue, such as a sore shoulder or lower back pain, it may be best to consult with a qualified professional, such as a physiotherapist or sports medicine doctor, to develop a stretching routine that is safe and effective for you.


Stretching before and after your surf sessions is essential for improving your surfing skills, preventing injuries, and feeling your best whether you’re on or off your board. Remember to take your time, breathe deeply, and listen to your body as you perform the stretches outlined in this post. With regular stretching, you’ll notice a significant improvement in your surfing performance and feel better overall. So, grab your surfboard, hit those waves, and have fun out there!


Here are some common questions and answers that may help you make the most out of your stretching routine for surfing:

1. How long should I stretch before surfing?

It’s best to spend between 10-15 minutes doing dynamic stretches before you hit the waves. This should be followed by some light cardio to loosen up your muscles and increase blood flow to your body.

2. How often should I stretch before surfing?

You should aim to stretch before and after every surf session. This will help to prepare your muscles before you get into the water and increase your flexibility and mobility afterwards.

3. Can I stretch if I’m injured?

It’s essential to pay attention to any injuries or medical conditions you may have. If you’re injured or unsure about your ability to stretch, you should consult a physician or a licensed sports therapist before attempting to stretch on your own.

4. Can stretching prevent injuries?

Stretching can help prevent injuries by lengthening and loosening the muscles that you use while surfing. Regular stretching can also improve circulation and flexibility, making you less prone to soreness and stiffness that can lead to injuries.

5. Should I stretch my neck before surfing?

No, you should never stretch your neck before surfing. The neck muscles can be very sensitive, and stretching them improperly can lead to pain or injury. Instead, warm up your neck muscles with some gentle movements, such as turning your head slowly side to side or up and down, before getting into the water.

6. Can stretching help with my balance on a surfboard?

Yes! Stretching can help improve your balance and stability by increasing your flexibility and coordination. Regular stretching can also help you avoid injuries that may cause you to lose your balance or fall off your board.

7. Can yoga be beneficial for surfing?

Yes! Practicing yoga regularly can improve your flexibility, balance, strength, and overall well-being, all of which can help you to become a better surfer. Certain yoga poses such as downward dog and chaturanga can be especially beneficial for surfers.

8. Can stretching improve my endurance while surfing?

Yes! Stretching can help increase your endurance by improving circulation, lengthening your muscles, and helping you maintain your energy levels during long surfing sessions.

9. What are some good foam roller exercises to do before surfing?

Some foam roller exercises that can help you loosen up before surfing include the iliotibial (IT) band roll, the upper back roll, and the hamstring roll. These exercises are designed to target specific muscles that are often used during surfing.

10. Is stretching before surfing the same as stretching before a regular workout?

No. Surfing uses specific muscle groups that aren’t always utilized in other exercises, so it’s important to tailor your stretching routine to your activity. For example, you’ll want to focus on stretches that target your core, arms, and legs, which are heavily used while surfing.

11. How